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Washington - Members of the United States congress saw new images of violence and sexual humiliation from a US-run Iraqi prison on Wednesday in a closed viewing one lawmaker likened to a descent into "the wings of hell".
Lawmakers said images showed inmates apparently being coerced to commit sodomy, wounds possibly from dog bites, a number of dead bodies, and examples of "sadistic torture" and "sexual humiliation."
"What we saw is appalling. It is consistent with the photos that you've seen in the press to date. They go beyond that in many ways in terms of the various activities that are depicted," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican.
Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat. "And when you think of the sadism, the violence, the sexual humiliation, after a while you just turn away, you just can't take it any more."
"I feel very strongly that these photographs should not be made public. I feel that it could possibly endanger the men and the women of the armed forces as they are serving and at great risk," Warner said.
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned last week the pictures could worsen a scandal that ignited international outrage and shook US global prestige as the United States seeks to stabilise Iraq.